Send to

Choose Destination
Front Plant Sci. 2014 Jul 8;5:323. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00323. eCollection 2014.

Virus-induced gene silencing is a versatile tool for unraveling the functional relevance of multiple abiotic-stress-responsive genes in crop plants.

Author information

Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Bangalore, India.
Plant Biology Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Ardmore, OK, USA.
National Institute of Plant Genome Research New Delhi, India.


Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is an effective tool for gene function analysis in plants. Over the last decade, VIGS has been successfully used as both a forward and reverse genetics technique for gene function analysis in various model plants, as well as crop plants. With the increased identification of differentially expressed genes under various abiotic stresses through high-throughput transcript profiling, the application of VIGS is expected to be important in the future for functional characterization of a large number of genes. In the recent past, VIGS was proven to be an elegant tool for functional characterization of genes associated with abiotic stress responses. In this review, we provide an overview of how VIGS is used in different crop species to characterize genes associated with drought-, salt-, oxidative- and nutrient-deficiency-stresses. We describe the examples from studies where abiotic stress related genes are characterized using VIGS. In addition, we describe the major advantages of VIGS over other currently available functional genomics tools. We also summarize the recent improvements, limitations and future prospects of using VIGS as a tool for studying plant responses to abiotic stresses.


abiotic stress; functional genomics of crop plants; plant viruses; post-transcriptional gene silencing; virus-induced gene silencing

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center